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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2710 - January 04, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 5

Possible Loss of PayPal's President to Yahoo Would Be a Blow to eBay

By Ina Steiner
January 04, 2012

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AllThingsD reports that PayPal President Scott Thompson is the top candidate for Yahoo's soon-to-be announced top spot. A departure by Thompson would put a major hole in eBay's executive bench.

UPDATE It's official - Yahoo has named Scott Thompson CEO of Yahoo.

Thompson is a good choice for Yahoo - if he is willing to leave PayPal. He is currently building up PayPal's Asian presence while making strategic acquisitions to ensure PayPal exploits the mobile-wallet opportunity.

Under former CEO Meg Whitman, eBay had a large bench of candidates qualified to take on the top job should she leave, including Thompson and former PayPal President and eBay executive Jeff Jordan. When she chose outsider John Donahoe from Bain, he cut the ranks from top to bottom in true management-consultant style.

It's interesting to note that AllThingsD's Kara Swisher writes, "There is a lot of that on the deep bench that eBay CEO John Donahoe has assembled at the online commerce giant, including Thompson." But many of the key executives joined eBay through its acquisitions of much smaller businesses who don't have the experience running a unit as large as PayPal. (It must also be noted that Donahoe inherited Thompson from Meg Whitman.)

Thompson himself assembled a team including John McCabe, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations, and Sam Shrauger, Vice President of Global Product and Experience, that might make the job of replacing him easier.

There's no doubt many small eBay sellers would rejoice if Yahoo snagged eBay CEO John Donahoe rather than Thompson. They've been hurt by the CEO's decision to coddle large brands and retail chains at the expense of small longtime eBay sellers.

Swisher had previously named Jeff Jordan as a possible candidate for Yahoo's top spot. After leaving eBay, he headed OpenTable and, after successfully taking the company public, removed himself from daily operations and became a venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz, joining eBay Board of Director Marc Andreesseen.

Andreesseen quickly quashed rumors that he or Jordan might become an operating executive of Yahoo in some capacity, posting on his personal blog last month, "To be crystal clear, neither Jeff, nor I, nor any of our partners at Andreessen Horowitz, are in the running for, or would accept, any operating role at Yahoo, including CEO, acting CEO, chairman, or executive chairman."

If eBay does lose Thompson to Yahoo, it's interesting to ponder who would be a good candidate for PayPal President.

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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